Carolina Bride

Mazel tov!

The night prior her wedding, Ashley Martin and her bridesmaids spent one last slumber party together, reliving the memories of the nearly two-decade-long friendship that led them to the day she would become a bride. Three years earlier, Ashley met Benjamin Linderman through mutual friends when he was living in Raleigh. The couple soon began dating and seeing each other on weekends, and a year and a half later, Ashley found herself staring at a beautiful ring.“The first thing I had noticed when I got home that evening was that Ben had moved my vase of flowers,” Ashley recalls. “But something in me told me not to worry about it.” After a home-cooked dinner, Ben cleared the dishes, reached behind the vase and pulled out the ring to propose to Ashley. “I just stared at it!” she says. “He had to ask me again to snap me out of my shock, and I excitedly said, ‘Of course!’”Ashley and Ben knew they wanted an interfaith wedding to honor Ben’s Jewish heritage, but mostly wanted to focus on the celebratory aspects of the ceremony, rather than overtly religious overtones. They found an officiant who shared their vision.Carolina Chamber Players welcomed the bridal party, decked in black cocktail-style dresses from J. Major’s, before the bride made her entrance in a carefully selected gown and custom veil from Mecklenburg Bridal. “Suzanne was wonderful,” says Ashley. “She was honest, she wasn’t too pushy and when I came back to make my final decision, she remembered my name and little details about me, which really made me feel special.”The couple exchanged their vows beneath the chuppah, and with the breaking of a glass became husband and wife. From there, the wedding party and guests danced to classic rock and Motown provided by One Stop Live – but no one was more inspired than the bride’s father. “My dad and I are extremely close,” Ashley explains. “He’s just an all-around goofy guy and always the life of the party. When Ben and I did the horah, he wanted to be put in a chair, too! He was a riot!”There to capture it all was Critsey Rowe. “I’ve gotten so many compliments on our wedding photos,” Ashley says. “I love them. She did such a phenomenal job.”After the evening’s festivities, the bride and groom departed beneath a canopy of sparklers in a 1957 Bentley provided by Poffie Girls Transportation. “We had a driver who was dressed to the nines and was wearing white gloves and everything!” Ashley exclaims. Because the reception was only a short 10-minute drive to the couple’s wedding night hotel, the driver took Ashley and Ben on a memorable trip though uptown, with onlookers honking their car horns and asking to take pictures with the classic automobile. “It was just like being a celebrity!”

Featured Vendors


Mecklenburg Bridal


J. Major’s Bridal Boutique



Carolina Chamber Players


One Stop Live



Critsey Rowe Photography



Poffie Girls Transportation


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